Passing on the Roseville Pottery Appreciation

I never thought I’d look at people younger than me and think of them in terms of the “younger generation”. That’s what

Roseville Azurean

grandparents do! But, after hanging out with my best friend’s sixteen year-old daughter this weekend, I’m beginning to differentiate the generations.

After getting completely flustered with only half of her attention for the most part of the afternoon (those pesky cells and their texting features!), I finally said, “OK, sunshine…here’s what we’re going to do. Put that phone away and let me show you a few things that you just might appreciate one day.” Of course, that was met with a roll of the eyes and a reluctant and rather drawn out “OK”.

I pointed to a few pieces of my favorite Roseville Pottery patterns. “What do you see, Sam?” After a pause, she said, “I don’t know. A bowl with a bunch of holes in the top of it.” Taking a deep breath and resisting the urge to roll my own eyes, I began explaining to her what a flower frog is. I explained how they’ve traditionally been used to hold flower arrangements in place. Before long, I had her attention and began telling her different “Roseville stories”.

I showed her a few wall pockets I have arranged on my living room wall. She asked what purpose they served. I think her exact words were, “Yeah, it’s pretty. But what does it do?” She’s a lovely girl who appreciates lovely jewelry, so I used that to my benefit. I said, “Wouldn’t this be pretty hanging on the wall just above your jewelry box to hold the rings you wear every day?” She particularly liked the Roseville Freesia.

From there, we moved on the different glazes and beveling efforts that really set Roseville apart. I explained to her what a jardiniere and pedestal were and before long we were on the Just Art Pottery website going over window boxes, vases and candle holders.

Two hours later, she had sweet talked me out of one of my favorite wall pockets and had an understanding of the importance of American art pottery. I wasn’t the least bit surprised when she announced Roseville Azurean is her new favorite. That kid loves blue. Her bedroom is blue, blue is the primary color of the high school she attends and I have a strong sense that I’m going to be investing in pieces from this beautiful line for birthdays and Christmas – and I couldn’t be happier.

What was most important, though, is I started out with a typical teen who could care less about a flower frog and by the time it was over, texting was the last thing on her mind and she walked away with the seed planted and a new appreciation for art – specifically, Roseville pottery. Will this be an everyday thing with her? Of course not. What I hope, though, is that it will encourage her to broaden her horizons, develop her own passion for the real beauty in the world and hopefully, serve as something that she equates to time spent with me when she’s older.

Roseville Pottery Florals: Roseville Sunflower, Water Lily

There are countless patterns, glazes, shapes and color combinations that define the Roseville Pottery as a whole. One of those themes is the creativity and elegance found in those lines of florals. Some are definitive, such as the Roseville Sunflower or Apple Blossom collections and others are a little less obvious, such as those sometimes found in Roseville Crystal Green, which, incidentally, remains difficult to find.

We thought we’d explore two of the more recognized Roseville Pottery lines: the Roseville Water Lily and Roseville Sunflower. There are a few similar features, but for the most part, each is quite distinctive in its own way. For instance, the Roseville Sunflower patter is considered middle period collection, as it was introduced 1930. The Water Lily pattern was unveiled in 1943.

Roseville Sunflower

Easily distinguished by the golds in the sunflowers and often with a green foundation, the Roseville Sunflower pattern is really quite sought after – from the time it was introduced until modern day, it’s often which serves as a striking complement to those vivid oranges and gold in the raised sunflowers.

It enjoyed a surge of popularity in the 1990s, and as a result, its value increased, too. If you’re looking for markings, because paper labels were sometimes used, it might be you come across a Roseville bowl or vase with no marking. There were some that had hand written shape numbers, which can help with identification. Many of the pieces had dual handles, which certainly adds to the overall presentation. A few of the examples of Sunflower pottery include umbrella stands, wall pockets, and of course, bowls and vases.

Roseville Water Lily

As mentioned, Water Lily is one of the newer lines and was introduced in 1943. Its standard colors are brown, blue, and pink, which blend in a beautiful manner. Like Roseville Sunflower, the Water Lilly also has several vases with two handles. Part of the draw to this particular pattern are the unique textures. The florals are raised and the smooth matte finish works to really accentuate the design elements. This Roseville Pottery pattern includes vases, bowls, bookends, ewers, jardinières and others.

Cabat Ceramics

Born in 1914 in New York City, Rose Cabat knew early on where her place was, at least in terms of who she was destined to be with. Shortly after marrying the “boy next door”, whom she dated all through high school, Cabat made the decision to to see what kind of, if any, magic she could bring to the American art pottery scene. The avenue she chose was ceramics, mostly because her husband Erni brought home clay one day with the goal of making a few dinner plates. Sensing her interest, he soon bought his wife a membership to Greenwich House. It was here that both her talent and passion soared.

Times were difficult, but Erni found an interesting way to create a potter’s wheel for his wife: he repurposed a washing machine. When they weren’t working in a munitions plant during World War II, the couple were busy with developing Rose’s talent.

She soon found her “niche” and what emerged was her trademark “feelie” vases. It truly set the pace for mid-century ceramic offerings. The one common denominator amongst those who know work and attempt to explain it is that it was incredibly personal for her. It was more than a talent or passion, it was, in many ways an extension of who she is as an artist.

The gorgeous oversized vases are the epitome of the emerging styles from the forties, fifties and sixties. It’s the bold, though matted color combinations such as green and blue or orange and brown. The dramatic center expansions and the way they contrast with the very narrow vase necks – so narrow, you might be able to easy a single flower into it; and her trademark trimmed foot rings all come together to define these gorgeous and dramatic vases. She also created bowls, though it was those “onion” vases she is best known for.

Her husband was then, and always remained, her biggest fan until his death. Rose, now older than 95, is the oldest practicing pottery artist in the United States.

Roseville Pottery Vista Line

The line of Roseville Pottery Vista was introduced in 1920.  Not surprisingly, it’s highly sought after and actually one of the more popular lines of Roseville Pottery, though it can sometimes be difficult to find- which naturally lends to the attraction.  One of more interesting aspects of this line is courtesy of the artists; those efforts lend to a certain dimension at first glance, almost as though you’re looking straight through the piece.  This was achieved by varying heights with the glazing efforts along the bottom of the pieces. [Read more…]

Roseville Pottery Ivory Collection: “Simplicity is the Keynote”

In 1932, Roseville Pottery introduced its Ivory Collection. It received praise from many in the art pottery in the industry. As was tradition in the 1930s, the company’s market was women. Some were concerned that while the matte finish on the Roseville Ivory collection was lovely in appearance, the familiar shapes and designs might not entice women to invest in any of these pieces. The price range in the initial line began at a mere fifty cents and went up to ten dollars. And, as one art pottery reviewer said in response to these concerns, “It is effect madam is after. And it’s effect she will get with this new line”. Indeed she did. The Roseville Ivory line was an instant success, so much so that the company would eventually offer 183 shapes.

Perhaps one reason this line of lovely American art pottery was so popular was because it was basically a “clean canvas”. Madam could easily add Christmas candies, thereby allowing it to become a Christmas decoration on her coffee table and she could also showcase it with her silver collection in her china hutch; the possibilities were endless.

Some of shapes include:
• Bowls in a variety of sizes
• Vases in a variety of heights and designs
• At least two designs of cornucopias
• Footed fern dishes, again, in varying sizes
• Ewers
• Candlesticks
• Wall Pockets
• Candelabras
• Even a reclining dog figurine

The Roseville Ivory collection remains a favorite for collectors and the first time you feel the smooth finish and areable to get a good look at the detail, you’ll certainly understand why.

Have your own Roseville Pottery Ivory collection? Send us your photos – we’d love to see them. Don’t forget to friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!